A seven-story Mission District housing project is just months away from approval, according to its sponsor, who says he hopes to break ground on the development at 15th and Mission streets sometime this fall.
Alongside other housing construction planned near that corner, that development is a small part of the almost 400 units of new market-rate housing that will be online within a one-block radius of the planned project in the next few years.
Permits to construct 12 units at 1900 Mission St., currently the site of a two-story auto shop, were submitted in July 2015 but are just now in the final stages of approval, according to the project sponsor, who says he is waiting on two permits to be approved in the next couple months. The project has been in the works since 2013.
The plans call for a seven-story building on the corner lot, rising above its immediate neighbors but is similar to the market-rate housing buildings across both 15th and Mission streets.
The building at 1900 Mission St. would have four one-bedrooms and eight two-bedrooms and a 495 square foot retail space on the ground-floor. Tenants would share access to a 989 square foot roof deck on the top floor, and some of the units have private patios of their own. The development will have one below-market-rate unit on-site.
Kevin Stephens of the architecture firm Kevin Stephens Design Group bought the land in 2013 for $1.3 million via the limited liability company PRC Series 2 LLC. His firm initially drafted plans to construct nine units in a six-story building. Three years later, those plans have added three units and another story, making the project rise to 75 feet in a lot with an 80-foot height limit.
Stephens said he did not yet know whether the units would be condos or rentals.
The auto shop on the corner, Discount Auto Performance, will have to close once the development begins. Its displacement is the latest in a trend within the Mission District that has seen so-called PDR spaces, short for production, distribution, and repair, replaced by housing and office space at a fast pace.
Peter Phan, the owner of the auto shop, said he does not know what he’ll do after the project breaks ground and he’s told to move. He said he has looked for other spaces in the city for an auto shop, but that costs are too high.
“It’s too expensive out there,” Phan said, adding that he’s been stressed by the prospect of moving out. “I don’t know, I’ll have to get a job out there. What are you going to do? It’s tough.”
Housing activists in the neighborhood often point to the need to preserve blue-collar jobs as a reason to oppose new market-rate development that replaces PDR space, though no opposition has yet launched against 1900 Mission St.
Alongside the 202-unit Vara Apartments and the 39 condos at the M@1875 building, the new development would be the latest market-rate housing project built near the corner of 15th and Mission streets in the last three years. A 24-unit condo project at 1587 15th St. was built on the corner in 2006.
Those three projects have brought 216 market-rate units and 49 below-market-rate units to the corner in the last decade.
If all goes as planned, the 1900 Mission St. project would be constructed at about the same time as three other projects planned for the area. Two seven-story housing projects on Mission Street across from the Armory will break ground in 2017, according to the project sponsors, bringing 53 units to the block.
Just a block away, a giant 10-story development that would bring 380 units to the corner of 16th and Mission streets, was recently revived after a prolonged legal battle. That project is being opposed by neighborhood activists, but if approved would be the largest housing construction to break ground in recent years in the Mission District.
The four projects planned for the area would bring 389 market-rate units and 56 below-market-rate units online within the next few years.
In contrast, some 455 affordable housing units have been approved for the entire Mission District in the last decade, not including affordable units built within market-rate projects.
No opposition has yet formed against the project at 1900 Mission St., and the project does not need to go before the Planning Commission to move forward. If approvals are made in a timely fashion, Stephens said the project could break ground sometime this fall and be online 18 months after that.